Theater & dance


Austin Playhouse’s “Tiny Beautiful Things.” Based on the bestselling book by Cheryl Strayed and adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, “Tiny Beautiful Things” is a luminous play that personifies the unfathomable questions that are at the heart of being a human. When a struggling writer is asked to take over the unpaid, anonymous position of advice columnist, she receives thousands of letters asking for advice. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday through Feb. 2. $18-$36. 6001 Airport Blvd. austinplayhouse.ticketleap.com/tiny-beautiful-things


Books


Novel Night at Malvern Books. This month’s Novel Night authors are Marc Grossberg and Glen Larum. Grossberg will be reading from his legal thriller “The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors.” Larum will introduce his modern western, “Waltz Against the Sky.” Grossberg’s debut novel portrays post-millennium Houston as it is, a glitzy place full of larger-than-life characters where anyone can make it. Larum’s is a West Texas-set story that offers interconnected tales of murder and mayhem. 7 p.m. Jan. 9. Free. 613 W. 29th St. malvernbooks.com


Comedy


Esther's Follies. A comedic experience in Austin for more than 40 years, Esther’s Follies has been entertaining sold-out audiences with its unique blend of political satire, sketch comedy and award-winning magic. Hailed as Austin’s version of “Saturday Night Live,” this show is filled with sharp, insightful comedy ripped right from the headlines. 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $20-$35. 525 E. Sixth St. esthersfollies.com


Gardening calendar


Who’s Been Here? Scats & Tracks. For families who love being outdoors and want to up their exploration game, this class at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center offers hands-on action that is hands-down sure to delight naturalists of all ages. Learn strategies for identifying signs of wildlife and insects, get the scoop on poop with a lesson on (synthetic) scat, and go on a family scavenger hunt to see what you can find. 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 11. $6-$12. 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org


Free Class: Starting Seeds at the Natural Gardener. When you are doing vegetable gardening in Texas, timing is everything. Being able to start vegetable (and other) seeds indoors gives a gardener more control over choosing plant varieties, and it’s also better for timing. Instructor Heather Kendall leads the class at the Natural Gardener. 10 to 11 a.m. Jan. 11. Free. 8648 Old Bee Cave Road. 512-288-6113, tngaustin.com


Fun & Easy Landscapes with Alice Nelson: Austin Porcelain Arts Club's Monthly Meeting. Demonstrator Alice Nelson will take you step by step through painting landscapes in a fun and easy way. Nelson has been china-painting for more than 20 years and is able to teach all ages to do it, too. This demonstration is great for beginners and will have the tiles and paints for all who show up. The meeting is free; let the gate staff at the front of Zilker Botanical Garden why you’re there. 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 13. 2220 Barton Springs Road. zilkergarden.org